Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Three Common Mistakes in Executing Successful Change Management

Do not be afraid to make fine adjustments as implementation is underway.

Changes to behavior at any level within an organization (individual, team or organization) require intent. In order to ensure a successful initiative and capture the full intent of the “change,” it is critical to creating strategic alignment around the initiative. Strategic alignment and cascading communication establish a system to overcome the three most common mistakes in Change Management. 

1.    Leaders Do not Over-Communicate the Vision 

Successful transformations require leaders to over-communicate the transformation vision. Unclear communication for vision, goals, the need for change, benefits of change and each one's role in the change is a huge mistake.
  • Change needs to have reasons: Remember no one like change especially when one can not identify the justification for the change. Change must be adopted and led by all of your first line managers if others are to follow your lead.
  • Timing also matters: The problem is, it is very hard to tell when the right time for changes is. There are two mistakes that people make when changing strategy.
     (1) They change it too soon.
      (2) They change it too late.

2.    Take a Top-Down Approach 

That means the executives formulate a plan or strategy and drive it through the organization assuming that the organization will accept it. And leaders do not form a guiding coalition and remove resistors to the transformation.
  • Employees Buy-in is critical: The most challenging aspect of any change management plan is to gain engagement with the whole workforce. Motivation is right following inspiration. Disregarding motivation will push resistance to a very high level and performance on the lowest; therefore, you won't be able to change. 
  • Well mix the bottom-up and Top-down approaches: Once a roadmap has been throughout and has 90% supports, one must have the determination and staying power to hold one's chosen course. Leadership confidence and commitment will reassure those who have doubt. Second when progress is achieved be sure to let all know about it along with specifics.

3. Declare the victory too soon 

The third most common mistake in executing a successful transformation is declaring victory too soon.

  • Make change sustainable: When victory is declared too soon, undesired organizational behaviors return, and the transformation becomes another flavor of the month initiative. 

  • Be sure to provide a metric for all to gauge progress and benefits. This is critical to keeping the long-term commitment to and justification for the course correction. 
  • Lastly, do not be afraid to make fine adjustments as implementation is underway.


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